Saturday, January 5, 2008

What is a biblioblog and who is a biblioblogger?

I have been thinking about this question for a couple of days now as I have been working to clean up my sidebar and going back through the year looking over other people's blog templates and older posts, including carnivals. Since I am especially attuned to the issues of canonicity controlling biblical studies' academic discourse, I began to notice the same marginalization of apocrypha blogs in the biblioblogsphere. Should they be included in carnivals? Should they be mentioned in roundups? Should they be listed under "biblioblogs" on websites?

This observation has made me wonder what the parameters are for biblioblogging if indeed there are any? Does a blog have to be focused on one of the testaments? Or can it deal with ancient Israel, Judaism, and Christianity on a broader scale? Does it have to be a so-called "conservative" blog? Or a so-called "liberal" one? Does it need to be "academic" or "theological" to be included?

My opinion? It is not too difficult to guess. If the apocrypha isn't taken seriously, we will never be able to understand the development of early Christianity fully, nor fully appreciate the traditions and texts that eventually were canonized in the NT.


Danny Zacharias said...

"Or can it deal with ancient Israel, Judaism, and Christianity on a broader scale?"

yes. Jim Davila is one of the godfathers of the biblioblogs and he covers the gamut.

But there is no "official" list of bibliobloggers. Generally people seem to use the term bibliblogger to describe someone who talks about academic biblical studies AND if that person is on their blog reading list :-)

A number of bloggers actually got together in 2005 and the label "biblioblogger" was a big part of the discussion. Everyone seemed to agree that it is not particularly accurate, but part of the medium of blogging is being short and spiffy, and we're stuck with the label.

btw, from what I recall, the label came "from the outside"— David Meadows from Rogue Classicism ( first used the label in reference to one of us.

Cheers! Danny

Phil Snider said...

I can't claim to be a biblioblogger on a lot of scores, but as someone who runs a related carnival (the Patristics Carnival), I make sure I include the Christian Apocrypha because I don't think a round up is complete without it. I usually include this one and Apocryphicity, but I suspect I'm missing a lot of hits. I'll have to work on this.


Unknown said...

A couple of observations from the theological side:

1. who cares about where one is on the theological spectrum? If ya don't read those you disagree with ya can't learn!

2. of course ya gotta include the apocrypha! In the Jewish (proto-Jewish?) you miss history to say nothing of literature that serves as important bridges to the NT. And with early Christian or not so Christian, (a theological judgment to be sure), ya can't tell who you are unless you read who you aren't! After all, I'm sure Athenasius read Arius and vice versa.

One last observation: I know the word has come to refer to blogs about the Bible but shouldn't a biblioblog be about any kind of book? After all what is a bibliophile?

Stephen C. Carlson said...

I think I once characterized the subject matter of biblioblogging as anything that could be discussed at SBL.

J. Matthew Barnes said...

I can't speak for everyone, but I know that in my discussions of Paul I often take long jaunts in Second-Temple and the rabbinic literature.

So I guess that a biblioblogger who goes about doing thorough exegesis should certainly include the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, rabbinic materials, etc in his/her biblioblog.

But what of blogs devoted totally to extra-biblical literature? Like you stated, since this literature is so vital in understanding what the Bible says and how it was understood throughout history, I would include those who blog about it in the "biblioblogger" category.

(Basically I agree with Stephen I guess!)

Targuman said...

I would also agree with Stephen. It seems to me, if we discuss it at SBL it is fair game. Having just done the most recent Biblical Studies Carnival I feel I should apologize for the lack of apocryphal, rabbinic, and patristic material. It is not because I felt it not worthy of inclusion, there is just only so much room and each carnival reflects what each blogger reads regularly. (I should read more blogs on rabbinica but I don't know of many. Do others?)

FWIW April, you are on my blog roll!